In the summer heat, the gym overflows with sweaty kids. All the heat being produced by the students becomes trapped within gymnasium walls. The F-wing gym gets really hot and hard to play in.
No air conditioning in the gym has been an issue for students and teachers for a while now. It has impacted the ability of kids to learn and enjoy their classes.
“It does get really hot, and we sweat a lot, and we have to take lots of water breaks. We have to use these big fans that don’t really help, and we have to open the door a lot,” said volleyball player Zoe Scaddn (‘23).
The gym does correspond with the seasonal weather outside. Then the gym cools down for most of fall and winter. There is only about a month that the gym gets really hot, so why spend a lot of money and time on A/C for a month out of the whole school year.
“The air circulation uses an intake fan system where the fan pulls in the air from outside. As we approach fall/winter, you will notice a significant decrease in temperature; hence the intake system. When it’s cold outside, it gets pretty chilly in the F-wing,” said Mrs. Abby Hicks, a PE teacher.
According to Mr. Ty Tatham, a PE teacher, there is no A/C in the gym because it isn’t economically easy to do. It costs too much to cool such a large space. Most of the school is already cooled down with A/C, and that costs a lot of money already.
“In the past 12 months, our electric [bill] alone at MHS was a little over $160,000. In the summer months, cooling accounts for a significant percentage of our energy costs,” said John Tramp, one of the custodians of Mead.
If you do want to see the school’s electricity usage in real-time, you can check out the E-Gauge being displayed outside the Energy Academy.
“The size of the space is the biggest complication. None of the school’s gyms have A/C, so it’s not just Mead,” said Mr. Chad Eisentrager, the athletics director. “Especially volleyball, it just creates a bit of a problem. All throughout the summer and up until now.”